The production version of the Renault 5 will be revealed in 2024, launching a year later
CMF-B-EV architecture prioritises driving enjoyment; will cut costs by using elements of ICE car hardware
The final production version of the new Renault 5 will be revealed at the 2024 Geneva Motor Show in February, the French car maker has confirmed.
Announced at the brand’s Capital Markets Day event where it also revealed the revival of the Renault Twingo as a sub-£17,000 electric city car, it also confirmed pre-orders would open early next year.
The Renault 5 is being developed to be the most fun small electric car to drive, according to Renault boss Luca de Meo, and his fellow company executives.
“The Renault 5 is the car that everybody wants. It’s a legend that inspired all generations, and everyone is looking forward to it,” de Meo said at the event. “The final car will be revealed in February at Geneva. I’ve already test-driven it, and I can’t wait to open pre-orders.”
Its CMF-B-EV platform – which is also set to underpin the 2026 Renault 4 – includes a suite of technologies aimed at providing enjoyable handling.
Chief among these is a multi-link rear axle, claimed by Renault to be the only one used by a B-segment electric car. Multi-link suspension typically provides a better balance between ride and handling than the torsion beams used by the Renault Zoe.
This is because it provides engineers with finer control over the two parameters separately from each other, minimising the compromises inherent to less complex non-independent suspension.
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Asked to clarify what cars the 5’s dynamics are being benchmarked against and how “fun” is being defined, Renault executives wouldn’t comment on the competition. However, Jean-Sébastien Blazy, vice-president for vehicle performance, said: “The R5 will be totally comparable in terms of vehicle dynamics [with] the Mégane E-Tech.”
He also said: “Thanks to the rear axle, we had the opportunity to have this multi-link and to put a lot of understeering behaviour on the rear axle. It’s thanks to that you have a very good stability of the car, because safety is key for sure.
“But with this rear axle, you can have a very dynamic steering without compromise on safety. So, this is our secret in order to give our car very good agility [and] very good steering response and to ensure the stability of the car in extreme manoeuvres, like avoiding a kid or an event or on the road.”
Blazy also emphasised the role to be played by the platform’s all-new brakes, which are being developed to more smoothly blend the hydraulic and regenerative systems. “[Drivers] will not feel the recovery of energy in our future car through the brake pedal,” he said.
Minimising weight will also be key to the 5’s claimed dynamic prowess. Its battery, for example, uses a new layout with cells split into four square ‘big modules’. This is said to improve energy density and therefore reduce weight by 15kg compared with the Zoe’s 52kWh pack.
The 5 will also receive new motors that omit magnets and integrate the charger, power converter and auxiliary power-management box, cutting a further 20kg compared with the Zoe.
Renault confirmed in July 2022 that this motor will produce 134bhp and that it will be produced at the firm’s historic Cléon factory, which currently produces electric powertrains for the Mégane.
Although the 5 is claimed to be a technological leader in its segment compared with current alternatives, Renault is aiming for the model to be priced below its competitors – including the outgoing Zoe.
For reference, the Zoe starts at £29,995 and the Vauxhall Corsa Electric at £31,090, while the new Volkswagen ID 2all concept has a target price of £22,000 (in today’s money) for when production begins in 2026.
The CMF-B-EV platform will eventually spawn a “complete family” of cars, according to Renault B-segment EV director Jérémie Coiffier.
Gilles Godinot, CMF-B-EV platform manager, said: “It’s really flexible in terms of track and wheelbase, and overhang of course, but mostly the track and wheelbase are really flexible.”
The 4 crossover is set to launch in 2026, a year after sales of the 5 hatchback begin.
As previously reported by Autocar, Renault-owned performance brand Alpine is developing a 5 hot hatch, fitted with a shortened version of the 215bhp motor from the Mégane.
The new 5 concept was first revealed at the announcement of the Renaulution plan devised by Renault Group CEO Luca de Meo in 2021. He hailed it as a key part of Renault’s push for 30% of its sales to be of EVs by 2025.
The model takes its inspiration from the original 5, which was produced over two generations between 1972 and 1996, with references including the headlights and square daytime running lights.
De Meo, who during his time at Fiat was key in reviving the Fiat 500, said: “I know from experience that reinventing a cult products lights a fire under the whole brand. This is a cult vehicle at a price many can afford. And this is only the beginning for the whole Renault brand.”
The history of the Renault 5
The original Renault 5 was launched in 1972, designed to fill the sizeable gap between the Renault 4 and the Citroën 2CV in the French small car market. Renault engineers were given a brief to develop a small car that would meet the needs of the widest range of the French car buying public possible.
The final design remained close to the original sketches from designer Michel Boue, with a slightly unconventional design. Under the bodywork, the R5 used many of the mechanicals from the Renault 4 and Renault 6 and featured front-wheel-drive with a choice of two engines.
The car was a huge hit: by 1980, it was one of the best-selling cars in the world. In 1976, it also spawned the Renault 5 Alpine (branded the 5 Gordini in the UK), one of the world’s first true hot hatches.
That was followed in 1980 by the R5 Turbo, a cult classic rally homologation special that featured a mid-mounted turbocharged engine in the passenger compartment behind the driver.
The second generation of the 5, known as the Supercinq, was launched in 1984 with a revised look and built on a new platform. It was effectively replaced as Renault’s lead supermini by the Clio, which was launched in 1990, although the Supercinq remained on sale in some markets until 1996.
Additional reporting by James Attwood